Maître de la Légende de sainte Barbe
Active in Brussels, about 1470-about 1500
Virgin Enthroned with Angels
Oil on wood
61.6 x 43.8 cm
Gift of Dr. Max Stern, inv. 1986.14
Influenced by Van der Weyden, the renowned painter at Bruges in the mid-fifteenth century, the Master of the Legend of Saint Barbara distinguishes himself in his idealized females, with their high, plucked foreheads and doe-eyed expressions. The Virgin and Child are seated on an ornately Gothic throne symbolizing the Church. A window ornamented with the patrons’ coats of arms reveals a landscape. The rest of the picture is replete with religious symbolism. Painted in brilliant colours of jewel-like intensity, the minutely studied details are compelling reflections of the Netherlandish fascination with the surfaces of the phenomenal world.